B Raman’s Open Letter to Kasuri

B Raman writes a open letter to Kasuri who called for intelligence co-operation between Indian and Pakistani agencies, recounting the history of the attempted Indo-Pak intelligence co-operation from the 1980s onwards calling it a dialogue of the deaf where the Pakistanis repeatedly stonewall and lie through their teeth even in the face of overwhelming evidence.He ends his letter by summarizing as follows.

You would now understand, I hope, why there is not much enthusiasm in India to the idea of a Joint Mechanism for Counter-Terrorism Co-operation. They say once bitten, twice shy. India has been bitten thrice — after the Shimla talks between Indira Gandhi and Z A Bhutto; after the meetings between Verma and Hamid Gul; and after the meeting between A B Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif at Lahore in February 1999.

Mr Foreign Minister, Pakistan has handed over so many terrorism suspects to the US and other countries. Forget about terrorists. Can you recall even a single instance where Pakistan has handed over even a cattle-lifter to India? Whenever India has asked Pakistan to hand over a terrorist or other criminal, Pakistan’s response has been that India has not been able to produce convincing evidence against him. And whenever India has asked Pakistan to hand over a non-Muslim terrorist, Pakistan’s response has been: ‘Yes, we agree you have good evidence against him, but your information that he is in our territory is wrong.’ The handing-over of the Sikh army deserters is the only instance of such action by Pakistan that I can recall. I cannot understand even today why Gul did it. Was he planning to use them to collect military intelligence from India?

All Pakistan has to do to demonstrate its sincerity is to hand over some of the terrorists from India living in Pakistani territory before the first meeting of the Joint Counter-Terrorism Mechanism. It will have a big impact in India and many sceptics will start supporting the mechanism.

India would do well to heed this lesson of history and dump that nonsense called the joint anti-terrorism institutional mechanism. It too is doomed to suffer the same fate as above.

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Filed under History, India, Indian Foreign Policy, International Politics, National Security, Pakistan, Terrorism, The Indian Subcontinent

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